August 23, 2017

Pop Up Food Vendors During Eclipse Need License

It’s difficult to imagine that this month’s eclipse has anything to do with food safety, but the Oregon Health Authority is telling pop up vendors who want to sell food during the event that they need a license. Many people take advantage of natural events such as the eclipse to make some money. If you want to sell food or beverages that’s fine, but make sure that you follow and obey state and local health and food safety regulations, even if you are selling something you think are as innocuous as nachos.

Nacho Cheese Sauce on Tortilla Chips

Check with county health departments about licensing requirements before you offer any food or drink for sale. Some county officials have told OHA that are concerned that pop up vendors may not even be aware that licenses are required before selling food to the public. When these vendors aren’t licensed, they aren’t inspected, and that puts the public at risk.

Dave Martin, coordinator for the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division’s Food, Pool & Lodging Health and Safety Programs said in a statement, “We want residents and visitors to Oregon to enjoy the eclipse and events associated with it. To help ensure that, potential food vendors need to contact their local health department about any license requirements. That way the county is aware of their operation and can issue a license and inspect them to make sure they are following state food-safety standards.”

The public can also help with this situation. Don’t buy food from anyone whose facility, even if it’s just a car or truck, isn’t displaying a health department certificate. Ask questions, and ask to see the license before you buy anything to eat or drink.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health has information about pop up vendors in that area. That site states that a pop up vendor is a licensed facility that operates no more than three days a week out of a currently permitted food facility. To obtain a permit from that agency, you need a certified food safety certificate, kitchen verification form, a floor plan, transport operation plan, and facility operation plan. And the health permit is location specific and can’t be transferred to any other kitchen.

By submitting a comment, you are contacting Pritzker Hageman, P.A. An attorney may contact you to ask if you would like a free consultation regarding your foodborne illness.

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